Eric Cole takes a look back at the 2008-14 Drafts under then General Manager Frank Wren and wonders what might have been. While an exercise like this isn't always fair it seems pretty obvious that Atlanta's minor league system took a significant hit during Wren's tenure.
"How much was the state of the farm system really Wren and co.'s fault? The anecdotal evidence is significant, but it is worth going back and looking at the drafts that Wren oversaw (starting in 2008 as he was made general manager at the end of the 2007 season) and seeing who was drafted, what happened, and, as a fun exercise, using the benefit of hindsight to see who Wren should have drafted instead."
Scott Coleman breaks down the Atlanta Braves' pitching staff as it stands currently. Julio Teheran is clearly the anchor and Atlanta will be looking for him to lead what will be at times a young and inexperienced group.
MLB.com's Mark Bowman opens up this week's mailbag and discusses newly acquired shortstop Erick Aybar and the effect that he could have on the Braves' offense this summer.
Nobody is expecting Aybar to regain the unexpected power he possessed when he produced a .418 slugging percentage from 2011-12. The Braves are hoping that he simply proves consistent enough to produce a .320 on-base percentage (a mark he has bettered in four of the past seven seasons). This kind of consistency from the second spot of the lineup could maximize the enhanced value Atlanta could receive from Ender Inciarte in the leadoff spot.
An annual question Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak faces from the fans at Winter Warm-Up is whether the designated hitter is about to intrude on the National League. He usually dismisses the notion as a "non-starter," and his answer hadn't changed in his nine previous Warm-Ups as GM.
It did Saturday.
ESPN.com's Jim Bowden reports that as many as 10 teams are chasing free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and that a deal could be finished in the next few days.